I did a psychic reading awhile ago, for a woman to speak with the spirit of her deceased father.  During the reading, she asked about her ex-husband (still alive), to which her father replied without hesitation, “He’s a weed.”

The father then showed me a scene in which his daughter was a rose bush.  The rose bush was beautiful, but stunted and with only one, small flower.  Next to the bush was a giant thistle, towering over the rose, stealing light and nutrients.  In the scene, the rose wasn’t asserting its power in the flower bed.  The rose was allowing the weed to flourish and to take whatever it wanted from the rose.

Weeds, in the form of people, have problems that are more pressing than yours, needs that are greater than yours, and goals that are more important than yours.  Weeds are opportunistic, grow where there is the smallest opening for them to grow, and steal what they want or need from their surroundings.  We all know people like this.

Human weeds come in two basic forms: the thistle and the dandelion.  The modus operandi of each are slightly different, but the end result is generally the same: they are both energy thieves.

The thistle plant grows large and fierce.  It has big, spiky leaves that literally poke the surrounding plants out of its way.  Thistles grow tall and bloom abundantly, producing an overwhelming number of seeds.  What is not readily apparent, however, is that the thistle is not well-grounded and has a small, shallow root system.  Thistles, if grasped at their base, are actually quite easily removed.  Bullies are usually thistles.

By contrast, the dandelion plant grows from a tap root that tunnels deep into the soil and  puts up a fight if you try to remove it.  Dandelions anchor themselves to one spot, choking out any plant that previously grew there.  They don’t cast shade on the plants around them, but they do steal nutrients, produce abundant seeds, and colonize the area.  Over time, one dandelion will come to dominate their patch of soil.  Clingy, needy people are usually dandelions.

In conceptualizing this post, I wasn’t sure where to go from here with this analogy.  In my real-life flower beds, I pull the weeds and toss them in the compost bin.  But for human weeds, we can’t go around killing them and tossing them in dumpsters.  We will go to prison, and they will never learn.

And then it came to me in a flash:  Oh, good Lord, I used to be an effing weed.  Painful to admit.  Impossible to refute.  I was a weed of the dandelion sort, never a bully, but always a master at stealing the energy out of a room.  I got kicked out of a lot of rooms.  I was barred from many more.  And eventually, I found myself in a life full of nothing but weeds.  And I do mean all weeds, all the time.  I HATED IT.  “Those people” failed to understand that my problems were bigger than theirs, my needs greater than theirs, my life more important than theirs.  They fought me for energy and attention.  I ranted.  I raged.  And then I learned.  And I changed.

I learned to manage my attention-getting behaviors.  I became more passionate, less melodramatic.  I learned that milking a situation for sympathy is annoying.  I noticed how often I did just that, and quit.  I learned that stealing energy from other people is bad.  I quit doing that, too, and learned that exchanging energy with other people is not only possible, but wonderful.  I learned how to listen without interrupting. I grew to like it.  I learned that lots and LOTS of people have problems bigger than mine.  And most importantly, I learned that oftentimes what I need is not the favors I used to bum, but hugs and encouragement to do those things myself.

I now look for and work towards true reciprocity in my relationships.  I seek the yin-and-yang of life, where I get my needs met, you get your needs met, and nobody has to take anything from anybody.  I am getting better at standing on my own two feet.  I am less angry, more generous, more aware of the abundance in my life.  And I love my life A LOT more than I did when I was a thieving weed.

And so……this is where I shall go with my human weeds analogy:  if you are a rose, please don’t give up what is rightfully yours without a fight.  You have rights and needs, too.  Also, please don’t surrender and sacrifice just because you feel bad for a weed.  Weeds are thieving, master manipulators and con artists.  If you have weeds around you, gently (or vehemently….) pull them out.  And don’t feel bad about it afterwards — they will move on.  They will move flower bed to flower bed until the only place they are welcome is in a field of other weeds.  And they will learn, and you will be free to grow.

And if you are a weed attached to a rose, step back into the weed patch and let the rose flourish.  There is no danger to you in doing this.  You don’t need to steal energy and resources to get your needs met.  Trust me, rain will fall on you wherever you are.

It is, to me, an alarmingly, personally, painfully simple fact that a flower bed is too nice a place for a weed.  In the story above, the woman’s ex-husband kept coming back to her with increasingly desperate tales, asking her for money (post-divorce, mind you!).  And on more than one occasion, she gave it to him.  She could not afford to do this, and her sacrifice meant she could not retire.  He was not entitled to that money.  To me, it was a con and he was stealing.  He needed to be told NO!, to be removed from the cushy flower bed, and to be forced to face hardship in order to learn self-reliance.

In my own story, I needed to struggle to learn.  I needed the bootcamp of weed-on-weed combat in order to identify my strengths.  Actually, to discover that I had strengths at all.  Like me, human weeds need to face the ordeal of growing in a crack in the sidewalk, or in a field of other weeds, to change and evolve to a more equitable way of being human.  Pulling the weeds out of the flower bed of your life is not a mean thing to do.  It is the same as blocking calls from con artists — necessary for your self-preservation, and a tough-love message to weeds everywhere that stealing is bad.


I am not sure if there really is more death than usual around us right now, but the covid-19 coronavirus pandemic certainly has us feeling that way.  The virus is snatching young and old, healthy and not, and stealing them away from our families, circles of friends, and communities.  We are conditioned to expect the unexpected from car accidents, cancer diagnoses, and heart attacks, but this feels different — somehow both completely chaotic and eerily personal.  Which is terrifying.

The virus seems to stalk us like a shadow monster on the loose in our midst.  And where there is normally safety in numbers, this predator must be faced alone.  Because in order to best our chances of survival, we have to stay in and apart (much like holding very, very still in the presence of a living, voracious T-Rex).  Which means that in the presence of this predator, we are cut off from the comfort and power that comes of physical connections.

What to do with our collective anxiety (who will be next?), shock (not them!), and grief (how are we going to live without these people?), is a big problem.  Maybe later we will be able to stop stress-eating and binge-newsing, but not right now.

However…….there is something much more constructive that you can do right now.  You can make what I have dubbed “The Covid Call.”

The Covid Call?  Yes.  The Covid Call.  It’s the call you make to the someones in your life whom you’ve had a falling out with, the ones you haven’t spoken to in awhile, the ones you didn’t mean to drift away from.  You call, and you say, “Covid-19 has me thinking about mortality.  We didn’t leave things on very good terms / We haven’t spoken in awhile / I don’t know where the time went……”  And then you say, “If this virus takes one of us, I don’t want things left this way.”  And you make amends.

I did this myself with my brother, sister, and mother, after a falling out left us giving each other the silent treatment.  After making The Covid Call to each of them, we were able to air grievances, resolve what needed to be resolved, and be back on speaking terms.  And I feel better having done that.  Like, in the midst of all this crap that I can’t control, I took control of something important: tying up loose ends.

In my work as a psychic medium, nearly all of the readings I do are for people who died with a lot of relationship-related loose ends.  These loose ends create a heavy spiritual burden, as they bind a spirit in guilt, shame, and regret.  And as long as a spirit is bound this way, it is stuck in an Earth-bound state, unable to make peace and ascend.  Which is not good.

So, what I am suggesting is that while you are banned from all your usual social activities, with extra time on your hands, consider making The Covid Call.  Tie up a few loose ends.  Resolve some unresolved stuff that has the potential to bind you in guilt, shame, and regret.  Your soul will thank you.  And, I bet, the person you call will thank you.


Earlier this week, BBC News ran a piece about the state of human cryogenics.  The reporter interviewed a man who is the co-founder of one the few (maybe only?) human cryogenic firms in the world.  The man announced that cryogenics are no longer science fiction but science fact, and for the low, low price of $36,000, his firm will freeze your dead body (or, for a slightly lower price, just your head) in perpetuity, until such time as medicine and technology have advanced a way to cure your fatal disease, repair your fatal injuries, and reverse your death.  The very excited and excitable Cryogenic Man spoke about all of this as inevitable — even the part where we will one day be able to re-attach frozen heads to live bodies (no word on where those headless bodies will come from), and achieve immortality.

Mr. Cryogenic Man scared the bejeezus out of me.

Read more


I started the year, as many people do, with thoughts of New Year’s Resolutions.  I must admit that, for a variety of reasons, I am not a fan of these lists.  For one thing, life is constantly changing — things happen, priorities shift — and I don’t see how a list of resolutions made in January could possibly remain relevant past February.  And for another thing, I think that our Inner Critics use these lists like a weapon to beat the self-esteem right out of us.

My first resolution of the year was to find a better way to set New Year’s Resolutions.

Read more


I’ve been engrossed in another project for several months now, and my absence from the blogosphere reflects that.  I have not stepped back from this work, as the steady stream of psychic readings I’ve done can attest, but my attention has definitely been divided.  To my surprise and delight, while I was looking the other way, I unexpectedly reached three milestones.  First, my website has a ticker that counts every time someone views a page.  Last week, that ticker rolled past the 15,000 views mark.  While this doesn’t constitute going viral, it is certainly a big deal to me.  I haven’t done any advertising, so new readers arrive most commonly as a result of a word-of-mouth recommendation, and less frequently, as a result of an online search.  To reach this many views this way is very affirming to me.  I know that the ticker doesn’t discriminate, and the 15,000 could be achieved by one overly obsessed person looking at my site 15,000 times, but I am pretty certain that it didn’t happen that way.

Read more


I did a psychic reading a few weeks ago that has troubled me ever since.  I was doing the reading for the parents of a young woman who died of an accidental overdose.  The reading seemed to be the mother’s idea, with the father casting himself in the role of skeptic and critic.  In my work as a psychic medium, I encounter a lot of skepticism.  I consider this healthy and actually encourage it, as I understand that what I do is a bit outside the mainstream.

What troubles me about the reading that I did for that couple was this: the father was so convinced that I was a fraud that he couldn’t hear anything that I said as anything but a lie.  The spirit of the young woman answered every question her mother asked, but I had the strong feeling that her father’s prejudices against ME kept him from asking the questions he really wanted and needed answered.

Read more


I did a psychic reading recently for the wife of a man named Roger.  Roger’s life was rich, interesting, and punctuated by this: in the late 1960’s, he was drafted into the Army and sent to the front lines in Vietnam.  With a college degree and a good head on his shoulders, Roger was quickly put in charge of his platoon.  He did not want to be there, did not believe war solved anything, and did not feel that those in charge of orchestrating the bloody mess understood the situation on the ground.  His tour of duty was a mixed bag: he made life better for those around him by protecting the weaker guys in his platoon without singling them out or shaming them, and he did things like create an indoor gym and an outdoor obstacle course as a place for “the guys” to blow off steam.  But the positives were far outweighed by the negatives:  a variety of ill-conceived missions with heavy casualties, and a lot of days and nights spent wondering what on Earth he was doing there.

Read more


You all about broke my gmail account with your phenomenal response to my offer of FREE READINGS (read “Heaven Sent” and “Heaven Sent, Part Two” if you have no idea what I am talking about), which is incredible!  And for which I am eternally grateful.  As I hoped, I am learning a lot from all these new readings with ascended spirits.  So much, in fact, that I hardly know where to begin to write about it.

I suppose that right into the middle is as good a place as any.  And the learning there concerns Summoning.

Read more


In my last blog post (see “Heaven Sent”), I wrote about building my new-found skills for communicating with ascended spirits.  One of the things I intended to include in that column was a fuller description of what a person could and should expect from a reading with the ascended spirit of a loved one.  I quickly realized, however, that I’ve never been on the other side of this equation, never been the person having a reading done for me, and I lacked the proper experience to write much about it.  Certainly, people have said things to me, so I have a sense of what it is like, but I wanted to provide a fuller description.

To that end, I contacted Beth Redman, a woman who is both friend and client, and for whom I have done both types of readings — with the un-ascended spirits of several of her relatives over the years, and more recently, with the ascended spirit of her father.  I asked her a few general questions about how she would describe the difference between the two types of readings, and about what she thought people could expect from a conversation with the ascended spirit of a loved one.  Her replies were on point, and she has given permission for me to share them with you here.

Read more


photo by Roy Shapley

Back in September, I wrote about my explorations at the outer edges of my psychic abilities (read “The Borderlands”).  These explorations led to the discovery that what I believed to be the limits of my abilities were only a threshold.  Beyond this threshold, I discovered that not only can I communicate with the un-ascended, Earth-bound spirits of the dead (as I have known for a long time), but can also communicate with ascended spirits (which was news to me).  Stunned and intrigued by this discovery, I have been practicing.

My practice sessions began with trying to summon and communicate with the ascended spirits of people loved and missed by me, then moved to spirits known to me who were loved and missed by close friends and family, and then on to spirits not known to me at all.  My practice sessions began outdoors, out in the thin-veiled borderlands that I discovered on my property, and then moved indoors, into the room where I do readings.

Read more